Many Catholics are familiar with Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. (July 23, 1933-October 3, 2014). A co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, as well as being a retreat master and author of numerous books, Father may be best known for hosting the long running EWTN show Sunday Night Live with Fr. Benedict Groeschel. What may not be as well known are Father’s views on the modern practice of receiving communion in the hand. From the above clip:
So anybody who wants to push for a more reverent celebration of the liturgy, they’re my friend. And I also want to state very clearly that I think that the experiment of giving communion in the hand has been a disaster. An experiment is a try, and this is a try that didn’t work.
While the Church permits the faithful to receive communion in the hand, the universal norm is still to receive on the tongue. Of course, reception in the hand is only an option at the Ordinary Form of the Mass; both the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as eastern rite liturgies, do not allow for it.
Decades of irreverent liturgies have caused immeasurable damage to the faith. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, echoing sentiments similar to those expressed by Fr. Groeschel, has said that the “so called new, modern, manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.”
An immediate remedy for this failed experiment is for more of the faithful to simply choose to receive on the tongue. As more people reverence Our Eucharistic Lord by returning to the traditional practice, let us hope more priests and bishops are emboldened to speak out in defense of the Blessed Sacrament.